Today’s Trailer: Tarantino’s Django Unchained

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Nothing goes with presents and/or Chinese food like a little Western-style bloodshed, so those already thinking about what to do on Christmas Day 2012 can breathe easy: Quentin Tarantino’s long-awaited Django Unchained will open on December 25. If the teaser trailer is any indication, the movie looks like it strikes a good balance between the classic Western tropes (saloons! facial hair! a hawk screaming in the distance!) and Tarantino ones (gleeful killing!). Word from Cannes, where a longer chunk of footage was shown, is that the movie manages to pay homage to the genre and keep its sense of humor.

(MORE: Jamie Foxx Snags Quentin Tarantino’s Coveted ‘Django’ Lead)

Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a slave—literally in chains—who is needed to identify the prey of a bounty hunter played by Christoph Waltz. (Django is also the name of the hero of the 1966 Spaghetti Western Django, which starred Franco Nero, who also appears in Unchained.) If they find their targets, Django gets his freedom. Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington also star. Not appearing, despite past rumors and failed deals, are Will Smith, Kevin Costner, Jonah Hill and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

(MORE: A Look Back at the Films of Quentin Tarantino)

The trailer’s not the only Django treat revealed this week—Tarantino is also hosting a tie-in contest, asking artists to do something cool with the promotional material for the movie. The creator of the best poster or short film gets to go to Comic-Con and meet Tarantino. The poster art is already out there, and some of it’s pretty great, but perhaps the more interesting element of the contest is that, instead of discouraging mash-ups and alterations of his work, Tarantino is encouraging and rewarding it—at least for now.